This year’s Halloween installment is brought to you by cannibalism.
Not only do we get the standard 3 mini episodes but we also get a cute intro mini-mini episode which despite its cuteness shows a sign of things to come.
The Sweet’s Hereafter
The episode starts with a 3D version of the Simpsons as various candies inside a bowl filled with candy to give out. Homer is Oh Homer (Oh Henry), Marge is Marge Bar (Mars) Bart is Barterfinger (Butterfinger), Maggie is a Ring Pop and Lisa is an Apple
Bart himself is afraid of being taken and Marge reassures him that he’s always taken last. In the meantime Nelson’s Crunch and Senior Mints get taken. The next day the family are the only ones left and are placed on the top shelf where they find a forgotten chocolate Easter Bunny. Seeing his discomfort Homer starts eating him and tells the family not to worry since chocolate doesn’t feel a thing. The rest of the family proceed to dig right in.
It’s quite a ghoulish way to kick off an episode and while not particularly funny or inventive (3D having lost is cache a long time ago) the fact that they decided not to do the normal intro was enough to reel viewers in.
It took 30 years but The Simpsons have finally spoofed the Exorcist. It seems bizzare that its taken this long but if you recall, the now famous Shinning segment was released 14 years after The Shining. Even still, it is a bit surprising but unfortunately this segment fails to live up to its predecessor.
Homer orders a Pazuzu statute from Amazon thinking it was pizza and its left next to Maggie’s bed. She becomes possessed and starts killing people at Marge’s party downstairs. An Irish priest performs an exorcism and the demon leaves Maggie for Bart and declares that Bart has the evilest soul he’s ever seen.
While lacking in funny the segment is notable because it contains Maggie’s first words: “no one leaves alive”. Although technically her first words are from the fourth season’s Lisa’s First Word when she says ‘daddy’. Leaving that aside the segment did have some okay bits. The Irish priest pulled out the leprechaun from episodes past who spewed out gibberish as always. The best line goes to the priest when he says: “If you can’t trust a Catholic priest with a child, who can you trust?”
In a parody of Coraline, Snowball takes Lisa through a tunnel in her room to an alternate version of her family with buttons on their eyes. She decides to stay when she sees its the perfect family for her. Back home several days later the real family notices Lisa’s absence and goes looking for her. When they all notice the benefits of the other family Homer uses it to his advantage and they all cohabit together.
Again, this segment wasn’t all that funny but did provide for some nice visuals. Coralisa did a great job of capturing the look and tone of the source material and giving it a Simpsons-worthy twist. The kooky, stop-motion animation style of the film still felt very much like a Simpsons cartoon. Neil Gaiman voiced Snowball with his best scene being where Lisa distracted him with her flashlight. The other funny, but small bit, was a leftover from the previous segment where Maggie, still with a touch of Pazuzu, projectile vomits over the house. The final cohabitation scene while not laugh out loud funny did provoke a chuckle; leave it to Homer to find a new way to be lazy.
The last segment provides us with what is probably the most disturbing segment of TOH to date. So much so that Lisa provides a warning before it begins to viewers to watch Game of Thrones after to calm down.
The family, except Homer, leave for Patty and Selma’s for the weekend and Homer gets uber comfy and eats all the food in the house. When he barbeques the last hot dog he accidentally cuts his finger off and it lands on the grill. He realizes how good it tastes and proceeds to cut off other parts of his body to eat. I’ll spare you the details but the montage of Home being ambitious in the kitchen was both very cringe and oddly funny.
Ultimately, he sees a therapist, Mario Batali, who convinces him to turn the house to Chez Homer, selling parts of his body as cooked food and opening up further chains. In heaven, Homer remarks to Jesus if he knows what its like to have people eat of his body, not knowing who it is he’s speaking to.
There aren’t really any rules when it comes to TOH episodes, yet rarely do the writers embrace that freedom and cram in as much gore and black humor as they could. So it was nice to see this segment finally reversing that trend with a delightfully twisted dark tale worthy of Lisa’s opening warning to the audience.
All in all this years TOH was pretty good. Save for the last segment, it wasn’t all that funny but it had enough in there to make it worth your while. The benefit of these episodes as alluded to above is that the writers can basically due whatever they want and half the fun comes from watching what the characters will do in a visually stimulating way. The last segment gets bonus points for being both funny and disturbing at the same time, a feat not easy to do.
Make sure to watch new episodes of The Simpsons every Sunday on Fox and keep it locked on TGON for all your reviews and anlaysis.